Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas 2007

Happy Birthday, Jesus. I know they say you were actually born during the Hebrew harvest time, but whatever. Happy birthday.

Christmas was a Great Morning. Really. Seth proclaimed it, "The Berst Christmas Ever," and obviously that made my morning. Especially since, apparently, Seth and Melissa had the "talk" about the philosophical nature of Santa Claus vs. the actual physical nature of said jolly old elf. So Seth understood that it was going to be a tight Christmas, but was completely understanding by the time Christmas day got here.

In spite of the fact that we all had less to spend this year, the kids were thrilled. And honestly, their hauls of loot were virtually indistinguishable from any other year; the items were just smaller.

Willow received a Snoopy Snow Cone machine (yes, old school, I know, thank you), about 10 princess-type Disney/Barbie dolls, a baby doll, 3 princess movies, the Thumbellina movie, a "Princess Willow" figurine, two books, a stuffed monkey and clothes.

Seth hauled in a Yoda backpack, the last 4 Harry Potter books, a homemade play sword, a real squire's court sword w/ sheath, two pirate water pistols, a stuffed rabbit, a "Seth the Brave Knight" action figure on horseback, a walking stick, a few action figures, a few Transformers, "How to Eat Fried Worms" the movie, and the Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl DS games.

We went to mom and dad's for lunch. After lunch, we all unwrapped presents. We had a good time together. It didn't feel rushed, and we all seemed to enjoy ourselves. There was no family tension or drama. The kids got tons of clothes. and some outdoor toys and movies they'd been wanting.

After that I took the kids to Melissa; we met in Turbeville as usual. There the kids gave me their presents to me; Seth gave me a huge "Dad" pen, and Willow gave me a cool Chinese dragon figurine that matches the two horses I already have.

Yeah, it was a good day. The kids were happy, so I'm happy.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Love Can Kiss My White Scot-Irish Bahookey

When I was a kid, the grown ladies around me always told me I was going to be a "heartbreaker" one day. The more time goes by - the more relationships I've been in - this seems more and more like some cruel antebellum curse or malign prophecy on their part.

Don't get the wrong impression here...I'm not a guy who gets requests for dates all the time, or even regularly. I'm not bombarded with ladies who want to spend time with the design monkey. But with me, as I'm sure it is with everybody, sometimes the stars line up in a way that seems right enough for further investigation of someone who wanders across my path.

I don't like hurting people, especially women that I let myself get close to. It's starting to seem like after the divorce, my efforts are futile to do anything other than leave a short swathe of hurt or disappointed women behind me.

Why do I keep bouncing from one woman to the next? B/c of this notion I have of a woman out there that is my ideal match. My one, my soul mate, my happily ever frickin' after - whatever you want to call it, she's it.

But I started wondering last week, is this most sacred of quests the noble and worthwhile undertaking that I have always seen it as? Yes, it's just dating, and maybe some ladies fall too hard too fast for me - but if there's nothing really wrong with a woman but I'm just not feeling the "one" vibe or something doesn't feel right and I get out of the just seems like there might be an increasingly thin line between my notions of the perfect woman for me and a non-existent fairy tale (or clinical insanity, take your pick.) Could I be happy if I'd just settle down and let myself be?

Let's be honest...prolly not.

Then I'm ex and I relied on the initial feelings of love to carry us through, and it didn't. We should have thought through things more before settling. Two wonderful kids, sure. But a true match we were not. So maybe I'm justified here.

Either way, I'm taking a break. Maybe a really long one. I don't know right now. My dad always told me never to say what I'll never do. So I'm not. I'm just saying that love, fate, the stars, Venus, Cupid, whoever or whatever can kiss my Scot-Irish bahookey for a while, b/c I'm tired of dating. Finding the next (and hopefully last) Mrs. Shane McElveen is not a game to me, and it's painful every time it doesn't work out...whether I acknowledge that or not when I'm ending it.

So yeah, I'm out of the dating circuit for a while. I think. Unless someone irresistible and incredibly persuasive comes along. Not that anyone cares, but since when did I ever write these things for you people? LOL.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Armored Bears and Inner Questions

I decided weeks ago that I'm going to watch The Golden Compass. To be frank, it looks like a really good movie; I'm just not convinced it's a kids' movie.

Months before I heard about the third book in the series, where the heroic kids team up with "fallen angels" in a parallel universe from our own to kill this senile old evil god figure. To be honest, this bothered me b/c it sounded a bit like Satanist philosophy to me. As a Christian who's about to be re-baptised on the same day my son is baptised, this is something that I have to question. This was amid the flurry of opinions from all sorts of viewpoints that I was getting, as my friends range from militantly agnostic to mystics to right-wing Christians.

I did a fair amount of research. I mean honestly I don't think an atheist is going to leave his ideals - his beliefs - out of his books. No one does. Stephen King doesn't. C.S. Lewis didn't. Tolkien didn't. They all injected at least a bit of themselves into their stories.

I think it's only fair for everyone to get their soapbox in America. It's what our country is about. I'm not a boycotter. I don't believe for a second that God hates homeosexuals. In fact, I think anyone who holds up a "god hates fags" banners should have "Ichabod" stamped over their church door, b/c they've failed to teach the love of God and Christ in that place...they have lowered themselves to a philosophy of hatred and intolerance.

Let's face it, Christians. Society tolerates our ideas as much as we tolerate "the world." I for one don't mind hearing a man's allegorical objections to the Catholic Church. I'm not Catholic. But I do value their traditions, and I think that children's books shouldn't have to be toned down due to religious content in order for a movie to be made.

If you're going to write about topics denouncing things I think they should books for teens and abults, not younger. Kids need time to be kids before they have to worry about all this crap. All these varied viewpoints about God. And for a child to even have to consider having their soul torn away from them, even in a fantasy context, or to be forced to slay a tormenting creator that should be loving and aiding them as a father/mother becomes horror. It becomes an unfair, dark thing for a child to have to ponder. I'm not trying to make anyone out to be a villain here, I just personally think it was over the edge.

Do I think that God is offended? I don't know the mind of God; I merely perceive glimpses. Just like all of us who believe in God. I think God is love. Sure he gets offended, sad, angry, lonely...I think he probably feels a lot of things about it. But atheism isn't new to God. Neither is allegory. Neither is fantasy. Or this crazy "free will" thing that He invented. You know, right before He took a day off and took some pain killers from the massive headache he likely got thinking about all the damn necessary trouble that "free will" was going to cause this world. Don't get me wrong. I like being my own person; thinking for myself. If God had made us all automatons, we never would have truly lived. And part of living is accepting others and their views, and living with the consequences of our own actions. I've been a crusading "uber-Christian" in the past. I don't ever want to take that approach again. To denounce people and hurt them; drive them away. And I won't. But I also won't stop believing the things that make me who I am.

I'm rambling...all this opinion hurling is making me tired. I'm going to wrap this up.

So I'll be watching The Golden Compass. And likely any other movie they make. B/c I do value other thoughts, and I want to hear them. And b/c my faith in what I personally belive is firm.
but my children won't be watching it yet. Not until I think they're ready to handle it. Right now, just the mention of a kid's soul being separated from her makes my son cry out in horror and dismay...I'm not OK with that. I'm tired of other people telling me what my children should and shouldn't watch or can handle and should be experiencing. I'm not a fool...I'll decide that for myself. And so should you.

If I've offended any of my friends or loved ones of any belief, it wasn't my intention. No one has been singled out here in my thoughts while writing this. Maybe you think I'm over-reacting here over a stupid movie, but honestly I wrote this blog for myself...not for you. I'm only doing what I think is best for my kids. And honestly, that's all any Christian is doing. That's all any agnostic or atheist is doing. That's all any parent, of any faith, is doing. Maybe we should ask the children how they feel about it. They probably have a great deal more wisdom on the subject than any of us do.